bugs on 4 week old seedlings - Knowledgebase Question

Jacksonville, Fl
Question by kaygfox
March 14, 2010
I have 4 week old vegtable seedlings that were healthy and are now wilting and dying. There are some flying tiny insects that are also in the soil...what can I do I don't want to lose everything! Thanks

Answer from NGA
March 14, 2010


Damping off is the most common problem with seedlings. The stems at the soil level will show the symptoms first and eventually the entire stem will collapse. It's easier to avoid this than to treat it. Overly wet soils and/or poor air circulation can contribute to damping off. Watering from the bottom of the tray can help, and using a small fan to gently blow over the tops of your seedlings will improve the air circulation. The little insects are probably fungus gnats. They breed in moist potting soil, but they won't harm your seedlings. They are more of a nuisance than anything else. You can break the breeding cycle by allowing the surface of the soil to dry out. If you have plants that need moist soil simply place a quick draining and fast drying layer of gravel or sand on top of the potting soil. This will act as a barrier to the soil. I hope your seedlings survive!

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